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Covering Live Events with Streaming Video at KAMU, Part 1

Jan 11, 2011 3:00 PM, With Bennett Liles

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Editor's note: For your convenience, this transcription of the podcast includes Timestamps. If you are listening to the podcast and reading its accompanying transcription, you can use the Timestamps to jump to any part of the audio podcast by simply dragging the slider on the podcast to the time indicated in the transcription.

At public TV station KAMU at Texas A&M University, live remotes are streamed back to the control center with Streambox encoder/decoders. Engineer Wayne Pecena is going to give us all the details on how they do it coming up on the SVC podcast.

Wayne, it's great to have you with me on the SVC podcast from KAMU public broadcasting at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Tell me a little about KAMU and what you do there.
Well KAMU is a public radio and a public TV station which is licensed to Texas A&M University, so in a lot of ways we are a pretty typical PBS station in terms of network programming, but because we are probably one of the smallest public TV stations in the nation but associated with one of the larger universities in the nation, we are somewhat unique that we have a lot of very close ties to the academic mission of the university. [Timestamp: 1:32]

And a lot going on at Texas A&M in the University News. I work on a university campus now, and I see a lot of news coming out of where you are. There are a lot of live events there that KAMU is involved in covering as well as providing classroom support. So what sort of live events does the station carry?
Well we try to take advantage of the localism aspect of our community. It is a fairly small community and certainly not a metropolitan area. And we try to do a lot of cultural events as well as public affairs events. Because of the university statute there is a lot of notable speakers that visit the university. A lot of those … there's a lot more demand then there are seats in the house to accommodate people, so we try to help out in areas like that and also as well as help our programming with the local standpoint. So a lot of things are somewhat mundane in that, for instance, this week or this weekend we have graduation going on, which is probably not the most compelling television event but if you have friends and family it becomes pretty, pretty popular. Some of those events have notable speakers as well and again, the university does attract a lot of speaking events and we do carry notable ones there. [Timestamp: 3:03]

And the specific methods of doing live TV coverage have evolved quite a bit over the years. When did you start using an IP network to backhaul live event coverage?
Well we have actually been using IP video for quite a few years. If you look back … really though about in 2005 began doing standard-definition broadcast type of IP video, and of course just last year or in the fall of 2009, kind of migrated into the HD capability, and that's where the Streambox came to us. [Timestamp: 3:42]

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